US joins search for 32 missing at sea


Associated Press

BEIJING

The U.S. Navy has joined the search for 32 missing from an Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a bulk freighter off China’s east coast.

China, South Korea and the U.S. sent ships and planes to search for the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis missing since the collision late Saturday.

The U.S. Navy, which sent a P-8A aircraft from Okinawa, Japan, to aid the search, said late Sunday none of the missing crew had been found.

The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal in the East China Sea, 160 miles off the coast of Shanghai, China’s Ministry of Transport said.

All 21 crew members of the Crystal, which was carrying grain from the United States, were rescued, the ministry said. The Crystal’s crew members were all Chinese nationals.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collision.

State-run China Central Television reported late Sunday that the tanker was still floating and burning, and that oil was visible in the water.

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